Soviet Witness  

Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg by Joshua Rubinstein Basic Books, 1996. 482 pp. $35.00. Finding a good subject is a biographer’s first hurdle, and in choosing Ilya Ehrenburg, Joshua Rubinstein flew right over the bar. What …



Illuminating a Cultural Mood  

On the first page of his introduction, Victor Erlich refers to Irving Howe’s “still resonant” essay “The Idea of the Modern.” It was Howe, many years ago, who suggested to Erlich that he was the right man to unravel the …



Remembering Irving Howe  

For Irving, Orwell was the model of a writer. For me, Irving was. They had much in common: passion, commitment, clarity, an eloquent simplicity. Both were plainspoken. Both trusted their instincts and judgments, and did not confuse emotion with prejudice. …



“Literary” Ugliness in Russia  

The Russian Republic’s section of the Union of Soviet Writers has become known as an enclave of nationalist xenophobia. A partial transcript, printed in Ogonek 48, 1989, of its sixth plenary session demonstrated this orientation. The following text combines cited …



Fruits of Glasnost  

For the past two years Soviet newspapers and magazines have used the unexpected freedom made available by glasnost. Once, editors had to clear all questionable material with the censors; now, if they ask, they are told to decide for themselves. …





Daring Voices in Soviet Films  

In the Winter 1987 Dissent Roy Medvedev singled out the Soviet theater as the artistic medium most quickly responsive to cultural changes. After describing some of the politically daring plays on Moscow’s stages, Medvedev added an appropriate caveat about the …



A Voice for Russia  

Max Hayward is something of a legendary figure in the field of Russian letters. He translated Pasternak, Sinyaysky, Nadezhda Mandelstam, Isaac Babel, and many others. Together with the editor of this volume, Patricia Blake, he attuned Western ears to the …



A Gifted Satirist  

IN PLAIN RUSSIAN, by Vladimir Voinovich. Translated by Richard Lourie. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. 300 pp. $11.95. I know that I have the very uncomfortable habit of saying not what is advantageous at a given moment, but whatever …